LONDON Dishonesty and fraud are widespread in the U.K., with nearly half of people admitting to forgery and one in ten to low level identity fraud according to research from TSSI Systems while a quarter of Britons confessed to exaggerating their educational qualifications to gain employment.
Worryingly, with the prevalent terrorist threat, 10 per cent had misused ID access control systems by impersonating someone else or had assisted someone else to do so, and 32 per cent admitted conning their way past security personnel while 21 per cent owned up to having used fake identity cards.
TSSI (Swindon, England), a supplier of technology solutions for the verification of personnel and documents, surveyed 1000 people between the ages of 18 and 60 at mainland stations in the U.K. and respondents comprised a cross section of workers in the financial, government, retail, civil services, healthcare, education, professional services, manufacturing and services sectors.
Just over one in ten people (12 per cent) owned up to low level electronic identity fraud, by dishonestly impersonating someone else over email. A further 23 per cent admitted they had been tempted to do so. Seven per cent confessed to assuming another person’s identity through forging their signature on letters or cheques.
Security in the workplace was a worry for 27 per cent of people. The survey uncovered justification for this alarm: 14 per cent had spied on people entering PINs, passcodes and passwords. 10 per cent had misused ID and access control systems by impersonating someone else or had assisted someone else to do so. A further 35 per cent said they would think nothing of counteracting their workplace security by lending or borrowing a work pass if they or a colleague had forgotten theirs.
Forty five per cent of people admitted to some kind of forgery. ID cards were by far the most popular item, with 18 per cent admitting to forging these. Other items included doctors notes (five per cent); fake letters on company letterhead (four per cent); reference letters (four per cent); travel tickets (two per cent); concert tickets (one per cent); and tickets for sporting events (one per cent).
Not surprisingly TSSI is making a number of broad recommendations for companies to improve their ID security. This include ensuring that a company has an individual who is responsible for both physical and logical security.
The TSSI Dishonest Britain Study 2005 management report with full details of the findings, issues raised and recommendations for both concerned consumers and companies can be requested from the company.